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Calcium Carbonate (Total Dust)

General Description

  • Synonyms: Calcium salt of carbonic acid; Carbonic acid, calcium salt (1:1) [Note: Occurs in nature as limestone, chalk, marble, dolomite, aragonite, calcite & oyster shells]
  • OSHA IMIS Code Number: 0505
  • Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Number: 471-34-1
  • Other Chemical Abstracts Service (CAS) Registry Numbers: 1317-65-3 (Calcium Carbonate, OSHA/NIOSH)
  • NIOSH Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances (RTECS) Identification Number: EV9580000 and FF9335000
  • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards, Calcium Carbonate: chemical description, physical properties, potentially hazardous incompatibilities, and more

Exposure Limits

  • OSHA Permissible Exposure Limit (PEL):
  • American Conference of Governmental Industrial Hygienists (ACGIH) Threshold Limit Value (TLV): 10 mg/m3 TWA; The value is for particulate matter containing no asbestos and <1% crystalline silica.
  • National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) Recommended Exposure Limit (REL): 10 mg/m3 TWA

Health Factors

  • Potential Symptoms: Irritation of eyes, skin, respiratory system; cough; Acute Ingestion: Irritability, nausea, dehydration, constipation; Chronic Ingestion (>8 g/day): Blood and kidney disorders
  • Health Effects: Nuisance Particulates (HE19)
  • Affected Organs: Eyes, skin, respiratory system
  • Notes:
    1. The estimated acute lethal dose of calcium carbonate ingested orally is over two pounds.
    2. Chalk powder factory workers in the chalk-sacking workstation, the section said to have the greatest dustiness (dust levels not reported), showed significant decreases in pulmonary function parameters, when compared with the other workers at the factory (after adjustment for smoking). Workers in the chalk-sacking section also had the highest incidences of complaints of dyspnea and cough/sputum.
  • Literature Basis:
    • NIOSH Pocket Guide to Chemical Hazards: Calcium Carbonate.
    • International Chemical Safety Cards (WHO/IPCS/ILO): Calcium carbonate.
    • Bohadana, A.B., Massin, N., Wild, P. and Berthiot, G.: Airflow obstruction in chalkpowder and sugar workers. Int. Arch. Occup. Environ. Health 68(4): 243-248, 1996.
    • Pohanish, R.P. (editor): Calcium Carbonate. In, Sittig's Handbook of Toxic and Hazardous Chemicals and Carcinogens, Fourth Ed., Vol. 1. Norwich, NY: Noyes Publications, William Andrew Publishing, 2002, pp. 453-454.
  • Date Last Revised: 09/21/2005

Monitoring Methods used by OSHA

Primary Laboratory Sampling/Analytical Method (SLC1):
  • tared 37-mm diameter low-ash polyvinyl chloride filter
  • maximum volume: 960 Liters
  • minimum volume: 480 Liters
  • maximum flow rate: 2.0 L/min
  • current analytical method: Gravimetric
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA PV2121)
  • method classification: Partially Validated
  • note: OSHA personnel can obtain tared sampling media from the Salt Lake Technical Center (SLTC).
  • note: If the net weight of the sample yields a concentration below the standard for the substance, the Salt Lake Technical Center (SLTC) will perform no further work on that sample. If the net weight corresponds to an amount greater than the standard, the sample may be analyzed for the appropriate element and the result reported as the substance.
  • current elemental analysis method: Atomic Absorption Spectroscopy; AAS
  • method reference: OSHA Analytical Method (OSHA ID-121)
  • method classification: Validated
  • note: An elemental analysis is performed for total calcium and reported as the compound.

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